City of Pembina, ND

Oldest Settlement in the Dakota Territories

Official Minutes for August 9th, 2021, Pembina City Council Meeting

Council Members Present: Mayor Mike Fitzgerald, President Jeff Watts, Greg Koropatnicki, Jennifer Martin, and Pat Burton

Absent:  VP Ron Fritz and Allen Huttunen

 City Employees Present:  Lisa Hall/Auditor, Gary Helland/Public Works Superintendent

City Attorney Present:  Terin Riley

City Engineer:  Brad Bail

 Others present:  Blaine Eisenbeis-PFD Chief, Phil Hall, Harold Rotunda

 Public Portion-    Phil here about pothole on Moorhead Street and comparing Valley Landfill to Countrywide for prices.  Phil stated this was brought up with previous council but dropped.  Lisa advised that was incorrect and it had been brought to the table and decision was made to not pursue.  She will contact again for current rates for the next meeting.  Harold Rotunda gave overview of the budget. 

 Meeting called to order by Mayor Fitzgerald at 6:08 p.m.

 Changes to Agenda

 Add crack filling under employees, nuisance shed and camera at shop under new business.  Motion by Burton second by Watts to approve changes to agenda.  Ayes all present.  Motion carries.

 Motionby Koropatnicki,second by Watts to approve July’s meeting minutes.  Ayes all present. Motion carries.

 Old Business

  • Ambulance budget- Discussion on the letter that the ambulance submitted to council prior month.  A more detailed breakdown is what is wanted.  Lisa will request againMotion by Watts second by Koropatnicki due to lack of information the city will cease funding until a detailed budget has been received as requested.  Ayes all present.  Motion carries.
  • 5th Street Parking- Gary informed council the signs had to be redone because they were incorrect times on them.  Mayor Fitzgerald asked Gary to see if “Violators will be prosecuted” can still be added to the bottom of sign.
  • Drainage ditch west of Gastrak- Burton asked Gary to see what JR Waste would charge to camera the lines so we have our own record not just the one Gastrak has done.
  • Culvert –Alley (N of Moorhead St/W of 3rd St) - Brad looked at it and said a culvert would be fine there and not create any problems.  Gary said he spoke with Jay Underberg and he will be proceeding with a drain tile culvert under it once council says okay.
  • Nuisance sheds-Both property owners contacted Lisa.  The one put a door on the shed and instructed his renter to not feed any stray cats.  The other put repellent in his shed.
  • Poultry complaints- The chickens have been removed from the premises.


Committee Reports:   

  • Fire Department- Chief Eisenbeis presented the department’s budget and detailed comparison over last few years.  Gave explanation of some of the larger expenses.
  • Rec Bd Pavilion roof- The roof has been completed.
  • Daycare food program- Lisa contacted Kacie to see how progress was coming on qualifying for the food program.  Kacie advised that she was looking into it further but does not think she will be able to qualify because of their guideline of a certain percentage of families must qualify for the free or reduced meals at school.  Watts mentioned that during Covid all families have been getting free meals so maybe that would change qualification for the program.  Lisa will contact Kacie again with this information. 


Employee Report/Concerns-

  • Grass clippings/inert landfill- The state was here to inspect the inert landfill (tree pile) and wrote us up for a violation because she found old license plates laying there that we needed to prove they were out of pile and disposed of before approving our permit.  She also stated that we are not able to burn the grass.  Lisa will request another list of rules and ask for a copy of the violation report.
  • Trail camera-The one we have is no longer working.  Burton mentioned Spypoint trail camera at Scheels that works well and reasonably priced.  He will look at them for pricing when he is there tomorrow.
  • Pembina Court Lot 18 leak- The leak has been fixed and the cost was $590.00.  Contractor said it was nothing to do with the camper being there during freeze it was just old pipes.
  • Crack filling- Burton asked when this is planned for.  Gary stated he hasn’t ordered the oil yet so that it wouldn’t just be sitting.

Engineer Report/Brad Bail     

  • Pembina River Bridge-   Looking for an available contractor because it is specialized work dealing with a bridge.  Checking with state to see if they have availability to do the work with the cost share.  Must be able to inspect by November.  Brad has contacted a number of contractors and none of them want to do it.  Gary was in contact with Twamley and also got a name from Devin at the county of a contractor that has bridge experience.  He will get a bid from him as well.  The dirt will be put at the race track in a pile for later use.
  • Street repairs- When the survey crew is in town Brad will have them shoot the problem areas.


Attorney Update / Rob Fleming-

  • Update condemned buildings- Terin had emailed Lisa earlier today with the Findings of Fact and Order for Demolition to sign for the houses and put in the mail to both owners.  Once that is done they have until September 8th, 2021 to demolish and clean the property.  If they have not appealed or completed by that date the city shall proceed with the demolition and all costs associated shall be charged against the land and levied as a special assessment against the land.
  • 4th Street vacation- Terin sent Lisa the Resolution declaring vacation to sign and publish.
  • Symington tree agreement- Terin brought the permit for Brent Symington to be in the city right-of-way to remove trees and replace with ones that are approved in ordinance.


Update & Business:  Mayor

  • Police contract- The last one we have is dated 2014 and the Mayor would like to renew.  Lisa will ask Sheriff Meidinger to attend the next council meeting for discussion.


Update & Business:  City Auditor/Lisa Hall

  • Motion by Martin second by Burton to approve the July financials and August bills as presented.  Ayes all present.  Motion carries.
  • Midco- Lisa presented the rent amounts of two other cities and pricing of internet service.  Council asked Lisa to find out how Midco calculates the amount they are offering to pay since none of them are the same.  Also, ask how many clients they are serving off of their equipment on our tower.
  • Polar service- Lisa presented the pricing for switching from Midco to Polar.  Motion by Watts second by Burton to switch internet service to Polar Communications on October 1st.  Ayes all present.  Motion carries.
  • PC self-help- Lisa informed council that they are allowing for a second application for the Pembina County self-help grant.  She asked if it would be okay to apply for the full $1500 to go towards the disc golf course.  Motion by Watts second by Koropatnicki to apply for the Pembina County self-help grant to be used towards the cost of installing a disc golf course in South Pembina.  Ayes all present.  Motion carries.
  • Grant update-NDCF & self-help – Lisa applied for a Statewide Greatest Needs grant through North Dakota Community Foundation in the amount of $5,000 to be used towards the cost of the disc golf course.  They will let applicants know in October sometime if award any monies.  The grant previously applied for to use towards cost of replacing pavilion roof gets awarded in December. 
  • Computer upgrade- Lisa advised council that a new computer needs to be in the budget as hers is over 10 years old and does not have enough storage.  It has been acting up a lot. Polar has a service that they will look at what is needed and assist in getting a computer that will work for the specific needs of the office.  Once we switch to Polar she will utilize this service and have them assist in finding what will work efficiently.
  • Preliminary Budget- Council reviewed the information presented.  It was agreed upon that they do not want to increase taxes but need more time to review all of the information.  Once the preliminary budget is submitted to the county those numbers cannot increase only decrease.  Council decided to increase just for the time being until the budget hearing after having time to review it.  Motion by Koropatnicki second by Burton to increase the total mill levy to 138.50 and put the extra 5.97 mills into the capital improvement fund.  Ayes all present.  Motion carries.  Lisa will forward entity account balances to council for review before budget meeting.
  • School request letter- The school is asking if they can put a roll off dumpster by the storage garages while they clean out their garage.  Council agreed to this as long as it is not blocking any garages or the street.
  • Clean up day- Lisa presented the information she received from Countrywide to put a roll off dumpster at the city shop.  Discussion was had and Burton is going to contact someone he knows that does scrap metal and Lisa will talk to Ardis about either August 25th or September 1st for a clean-up day curbside instead of a central location.  It was brought up we have a lot of elderly residents that would not be able to get their items down to the shop so the central location would not be feasible. 

 New Business

  • Camera at shop- Koropatnicki made the suggestion that we should have security cameras down at the city shop.  Burton asked Gary to call State Side Electric and get updated quote for next meeting.
  • Nuisance garage- Mayor Fitzgerald had a resident ask him to come look at the garage at 422 N 5th Street because she saw rats.  He verified that this is the case and they are large.  Lisa will send one more letter to the property owner and give them 48 hours to rectify the violation or the city will take care of it. 

 Motion to adjourn by Watts at 7:56 p.m.

     By:  Mayor, Mike Fitzgerald

  Attested to:  Lisa Hall, Auditor